A local barista will be whipping up her best coffee concoction in South Korea as she competes in an international competition.
Ella Dy, a barista at McDonalds on Te Ngae Rd, will be competing in the Monin Coffee Creativity Cup final on November 8 in Seoul, South Korea.
She has competed for the last three years as a barista. She received a bronze medal then a silver medal in the National NZ Chefs Salon in the first two years, and then the Monin Creativity Champion Cup this year.
Ella says she is still overwhelmed and is most looking forward to the experience of competing and representing New Zealand.
For the Monin competition held in Auckland she made her signature coffee called Rock Melon Revive.
She had to prepare it for three judges and also make one for presentation.
Ella studies full-time while working four to five days a week.
She says two days before the competition she was about to drop out because she was stressing out from work, study and preparing for the competition, but made up her mind to continue.
Ella says preparation has included a lot of late night practices and a lot of concoctions with a mixture of ingredients, finding out the best ones to go together.
She says she got some tips from her brother, a chef at Terrace Kitchen, because he is good with flavour mixtures.
"I've got a passion for coffee. It's definitely what drives me into these competitions."
One of her goals this year is to become a renowned barista in New Zealand and hopes to bring home a medal from the competition.
She says McDonald's franchisee Rob Parry and regional McCafe manager Jiho Lee motivate staff to join the competition. Rob sponsors them to do it and allows them to train when they can - "I appreciate that a lot".
"If I didn't work at McDonalds I wouldn't have this opportunity right in front of me."
She says the Monin organisation are sponsoring her to go to South Korea, including flights and accommodation, and she is still getting in touch to ask them how she can improve her drink.
Jiho says Ella did an amazing job and put in great effort to prepare for the competition around her other commitments.